For back-to-back Ironman World Champion Patrick Lange, the only thing better than winning the Kona Ironman World Championship was winning the heart of his special someone immediately after crossing the finish line.
He promised himself that if he became the first triathlete to complete an Ironman competition in under eight hours, he’d propose to his girlfriend Julia Hofmann. So when he broke the tape in 7 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds, there was only one thing left to do.
“I think I have to go there,” Lange told a reporter at the finish line before walking over to where Hoffman stood in the crowd. As soon as they were close, he got down on one knee and popped the question. “Julia, do you want to marry me?” Lange asked.
With tears in her eyes, Hoffman said “Yes!” before leaning down to give Lange a kiss.
As the above video shows, he then collapsed on the ground, most likely from a combination of exhaustion after completing such a feat of athleticism — and relief that his surprise proposal had gone so well.
Cover image via Nils Nilsen/Getty Images for IRONMAN